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Shakuntala Devi – 10 little known facts about her3 min read

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It takes one super woman to portray another. Kahaani actor Vidya Balan’s new movie, Shakuntala Devi is to release at the end of this month on Amazon Prime and we are left awestruck with the “Human Calculator”. With so many movies making a direct foray into OTT, Shakuntla Devi is one we recommend not to miss. 

This mathematics genius seems to be a wonder of wonders. To see her biopic, that too played by one of the finest from the current Bollywood actresses would surely be worth watching. We all know a lot about her exceptional talent, so we looked for more and here are ten interesting and little known facts about this prodigal genius.

Shakuntala Devi is what can be called a pure genius, as such she received no formal education but her talent was discovered by her father while he was teaching her a card trick. They moved from place to place exhibiting her mathematical prowess.

In the year 1950, BBC host Leslie Mitchell gave her a complex mathematics problem which she solved within seconds, but the answer did not match Leslie’s. After rechecking the math, Mitchell realized that the original answer was wrong and Shakuntala Devi was indeed correct. This made her immensely famous and she was given the title “The Human Calculator”.

Her name was listed in the ‘1995 Guinness Book of World Records’ edition for her outstanding mathematical feat where she beat the world’s fastest computer at multiplying two thirteen digit numbers.

Albert Einstein was amazed with her prowess. A complex calculation which took him three hours was completed by her as soon she heard the question.

In 1977, she solved the 23rd root of a 201-digit number in 50 seconds. The US Bureau of Standards actually had to write a special computer program to check the answer.

Shakuntala Devi stood against Indira Gandhi during the election of 1980 from Medak. She wanted to “defend the people of Medak from being fooled by Mrs Gandhi”.

The author, Arthur R. Jensen of the University of California, Berkeley was studying her abilities and noted that she hated commas in numbers and did not use any uniform type of ‘chunking’ during calculations.

She has written many books but the most notable one is The World of Homosexuals which is considered to be the first proper study of homosexuality in India.

Shakuntala Devi's life changed after marrying a gay man: The human ...

She dabbled in astrology and has written many cook books.

She was a strict vegetarian and has even written a vegetarian cook book for men.

Watch this video to get a glimpse on the thoughts of such a genius.

We are eagerly looking forward to her biopic and hope it is as wondrous as her life has been.

Watch the trailer here of the Vidya Balan starrer here

To get excellent recommendations based on your taste for what to watch on Netflix and Prime, check out:


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